Day 9 - Wed 6 Dec 06
Awake at dawn to see the sunrise over the Krak from the comfort of my bed! Did breakfast at the hotel, the wind was really howling last night, and it hasn't let up yet. So I decided to catch a taxi from the Krak to Tartus. I got the fair down from 600 to 500SYP. The trip over was uneventful even if the locals have the disconcerting habit of driving the wrong way down a dual carriageway. My driver dropped me on the seafront at Tartus, and I had a quick look around the old town, which is tiny!
Then it was up to the bus station where I got a ticket for 30SYP, and was on the bus and away in 10 minutes! The bus hacked it up the motorway to Latakia in about an hour. We pass the Qala'at Maroub a castle with a great view over the Med.
The bus dropped me at the bus station, and after a bit of a false start I found the railway station. I got a ticket for the 15:00 train to Aleppo tomorrow. Got completely lost trying to find a hotel, and after wandering around for about an hour I just flagged down a cab and got him to drop me at a hotel. I tried the Riad but they wanted 1000SYP for not a great room. Walked back to the Al-Nour and got a better room for $20. Not a patch on the room I had last night but hey!
There seems to be a lot of building going on in Latakia, around the railway station is a huge building site. After dumping my stuff I walked into town and got a pizza to eat in the Express Cafe. Latakia does not have a very Arab feel to it, it's much more Mediterranean.